Moving the Overton Window

Please watch this very brief (2’31”) video from the broadly conservative (pro-free market, anti-big-government) Michigan based Mackinac Center on the Overton Window. If two and half minutes is too much time for you to spare then this explanation from Politico might help:

The concept of the “Overton window,” the range of ideas outside which lie political exile or pariahdom, was first batted around in a series of conversations by the late free-market advocate Joseph Overton in the 1990s. After Overton’s untimely death in a plane crash in 2003, his friend and colleague at the libertarian Mackinac Center, Joseph Lehman, formalized and named the idea in a presentation meant to educate fellow think-tank warriors on the power of consistent advocacy. Ring the bell loudly for your idea, no matter how unpopular, and back it up with plenty of research and evidence, so the thinking went. Today’s fringe theory can become tomorrow’s conventional wisdom by the shifting of the finely tuned gears that move popular opinion; to Overton and Lehman the role of the think tank was to at least familiarize voters with these ideas, giving them an institutional home when public opinion finally moved their way.

Or, and even more brief visual explanation is:

overton window

Anyway,  I believe that the Liberal Party of Canada and its allies in e.g. the CBC, The Star, and amongst the others who speak for the Laurentian Elites are working very hard, right now, to move the Overton window frame of one idea from “Unthinkable” to at least barely “Acceptable.” That idea is that Justin Trudeau’s personal corruption (I believe that’s the right word) is acceptable because the alternative is a Conservative government that is, by Liberal/Laurentian Elite definition, authoritarian (fascist), homophobic, militaristic, racist, and sexist.

That’s right, the Liberal/Laurentian Elites admit that Justin Trudeau is dishonest, that he, unthinkingly, breaks the rules, over and over again ~ because, you see, he’s a really nice person but, sadly, he’s just not very smart. I have even made that case for them. I suggested, almost a year ago, that Justin Trudeau is an intellectual lightweight who is in no way qualified to hold high office … but he has the “second hand” celebrity of a famous name and he’s photogenic, too, and so, in 21st-century Canada he’s electable.

But that’s OK, the Liberals and their paid shills and hacks, flacks and bagmen say, because all these people …

Screen Shot 2020-07-19 at 14.25.06

… leading Conservative politicians and ordinary Canadians of a liberal mind, like me (yes, that’s me in the middle) are, variously, fascist, homophobic, militaristic, racist, and sexist Trumpians. Being stupid and unethical, they will try to tell us, is better than being Conservative, as long as being stupid and unethical means being Liberal, too.

Right now, that notion, that an unethical Trudeau is OK because, at least, he marches in gay pride parades is a hard sell, even in the Globe and Mail. That idea is still outside of the Overton Window‘s frame; it needs to stay there. But it will not if the powerful and effective  Liberal propaganda machine and its allies in the media have their way. Already, it appears to me, the discussion is less about ethics than about the political pros and cons of investigating ethical violations. That, it seems to me, is part of a concerted attempt to excuse the unethical conduct, to make it normal, to move that “window” from “Unthinkable” to “Acceptable:”

overton window

That, I am convinced, is the Liberal/Laurentian Elites‘ goal and at least part of the mainstream media seems intent on helping them push it along. We are being conditioned to accept the notion that unethical behaviour, actual personal corruption on Justin Trudeau’s part, is acceptable because the alternative is worse. I am persuaded that millions of Canadians will accept that … I hope not too many millions, but, as an old Army buddy keeps reminding me: “hope is not a valid course of action.”

Published by Ted Campbell

Old, retired Canadian soldier, Conservative ~ socially moderate, but a fiscal hawk. A husband, father and grandfather. Published material is posted under the "Fair Dealing" provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act for the purposes of research, private study and education.

3 thoughts on “Moving the Overton Window

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